Still Eating Salads…. all year ’round

This summer, I became the owner of a beautiful 5 pound 14 ounce butternut squash… from a volunteer effort organized by my sorority. Planted during the summer months at the Habesha Community Garden in Atlanta, the squash vine took on a life of its own prolifically offering 20140830_104416[1] butternut after butternut after butternut. The vine was huge and twisty and still had a few butternut squash on it when we arrived to help ready the garden for fall and winter planting. Our mission: Remove the remaining squash and excavate the vine. The mission accomplished and the payment was handsome.

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Getting this lovely through the Atlanta airport proved interesting… TSA officers scanned it twice, few people looked perplexed, and a few passengers stopped to ask me about her when I shimmied down the aisle to my seat. I beamed as I told my inquiring row companions of my intentions with the butternut squash… the plans were to puree some, roast some, steam some, stir-fry some, and finally simmer some into a spicy, brothy soup. This was a lot of squash! The best, by far, was a crunchy, luxuriously warm salad of roasted butternut squash, shredded Brussels sprouts, toasted walnuts, and cranberries tossed in a warm Maple-Dijon vinaigrette with a few shavings of Parmigiano Reggiano.

Roasted Butternut  Salad w Warm Maple-Dijon Vinaigrette

Roasted Butternut Salad w Warm Maple-Dijon Vinaigrette

Roasted Butternut Salad w Warm Maple-Dijon Vinaigrette
Serves 4 – 6

2 – 3 # butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1” cubes
2 – 3 c Brussels sprouts, shredded
½ c dried cranberries
½ c walnuts, toasted
¼ c Parmigiano Reggiano, shaved
olive oil, as needed
thyme or rosemary sprigs, to taste
kosher salt, to taste
cracked black pepper, to taste

Warm Maple-Dijon Vinaigrette
¼ c apple cider vinegar
2 – 3 T maple syrup
2 – 3 T canola oil
1 – 2 T Dijon mustard
2 T shallots, finely minced
kosher salt, to taste
cracked black pepper, to taste

Method:

Preheat oven to 400-degrees

On a foil-lined baking sheet, toss butternut squash with thyme, or rosemary; coat with olive oil; season with kosher salt and cracked black pepper; and spread into a single layer

Roast butternut squash until tender and lightly charred; approximately 25 – 30 minutes; tossing once during roasting

In a small saucepan, sauté shallots in canola oil until translucent; remove from heat; whisk in Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, and maple syrup; season, to taste, with kosher salt and cracked black pepper; keep warm

In a large serving bowl, add shredded Brussels Sprouts, toasted walnuts, cranberries, and roasted butternut squash; drizzle with warm Maple-Dijon Salad dressing

Toss salad gently; top with shaved Parmigiano Reggiano; serve immediately

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All of these flavors play exceptionally well together… but they are also interchangeable. Any winter squash will work in place of the butternut and roasted sweet potato makes for a yummy replacement as well. Toasted pecans, almonds, cashews, or hazelnuts are all delicious substitutes for the toasted walnuts. Dried cranberry replacements can include raisins or dried cherries. The shredded Brussels sprouts were actually a replacement for kale; but collards, Swiss Chard, spinach, and finely shredded cabbage will all do the job deliciously… and eating salads all year round becomes a real thing and not yet another urban myth.

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always in good T.A.S.T.E – cause you gottatastethis!

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About tawannapatrice

...a native south floridian, i am an artisan baker, personal caterer, and sarcastic demented librarian chick who finds life unbearable without immersing yourself in your true passions…
This entry was posted in Dressings, Food .T.A.S.T.E., Fruit, Salads, Vegetables, Vegetarian/Vegan and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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